Tag Archives: Patrice Revillard

Matieres Libres from Panouge

Perfume world has changed drastically since covid barged into our lives. Many brands postpone their new perfume launches due to insufficient number of ways to promote them internationally (no fairs, no exhibitions), some brands are using online platforms and live meeting tools to present the fruit of their work. Then, there’s a small number of brands that didn’t survive the crisis and they disappear from the fragrance scene. As in Poland lockdown has just been extended by another week I wonder how perfumers work during. Luckily many can work from their home studios. Despite difficulties Panouge coupled with young & talented perfumers and let their creativity go wild.

Datura Amaretti is a powerful fragrance with a lot of presence. It starts with a juicy mandarin note followed by a super fruity, almost overripe cherry. I believe cherry is what makes this perfume slightly daring and a bit more challenging. After a moment the perfume tones down and by becoming more quiet it reveals the floral notes hiding in its heart. Datura, a poisonous plant that lend its name to this composition, is paired here with ylang-ylang which results in warm and creamy bouquet that makes my head wander off to someplace tropical. The scent is also akin to suntan oil. Over time Datura Amaretti turns slightly nutty due to almond presence in the base. The combination of bitter and sweet with a crunchy texture instantly evokes amaretti biscuits. This gourmand touch makes perfect sense as a follow-up of cherry, especially that both have a scent thanks to benzaldehyde. The cookie drydown is kind of comforting and feels safe, softness or musk and cedar don’t disrupt this mood but go along with it.

Those of you who are fig lovers will be happy to discover Patchouli Figue. This composition starts with a succulent greenness of of fig leaves which are lifted up by a fruity-green smell of rhubarb and by a juicy pear that exudes ripe, fruity but also watery aromas. Lactonic notes of fig take this composition with a storm and deliver a powerful scent that takes control of the situation. Addition of jasmine make it feel greener and just a tiny bit flowery. In this particular case jasmine is stripped off its big white floral grandeur. I don’t like fig in perfume, I never did, but what intrigues me in Patchouli Figue is that from the very beginning I could also smell some dusty particles of cocoa. It becomes more pronounced in the base as it gives off this dark, nutty facet with some bitterness. A promise of chocolate. Patchouli adds to that darkness through its earthy facets of dry soil, moss & undergrowth. Amber and cedar make it brighter and they give an oriental twist to the composition.

Within this collection that consists of four fragrances I believe most people will find Rose Agathe to be the most polarizing one. The perfume starts with a blast of black pepper and the dry spiciness that mercilessly drills through your nose and goes straight into your nostrils. Metal accord provides additional coldness and shivers when you smell this perfume. Elemi resin amplifies these cold & spiced facets as it adds some balsamic qualities to the blend. Heart of the composition remains cold as ice. It serves some rose but with a lot of rose oxide – a synthetic molecule that makes the accent on these chilly, metallic aspect of the flower. Aromatic notes of geranium feel verdant, their crisp & crunchy stems also feel kind of cold. Incense finally increases the temperature a bit but it doesn’t change the fact Rose Agathe has an austere, eerie aura to it. Drydown combines ebony wood that gives depth, combined with mineral accord (more cold again). Leather and labdanum add some warmth and tenacity to the composition.

Last but not least there’s Absinthe Gaiac which I saved for the end of the post because it’s my favorite fragrance in the collection. This perfume starts with an invigorating and slightly ozonic note of violet leaf that after a moment becomes sweeter & slightly powdered. Wormwood, a plant that gives absinthe its hallucinogenic fame, provides a contrast by exuding some bitter greenness. Heart of the composition is a tender blend or parched, dry nutmeg, a bit of rose and an elegant leather accord. The perfume feels embracing and it has something comforting to it. Like lazy cracks of wood logs in the fireplace – cozy and soothing. Base of Absinthe Gaiac goes along this idea. Warmth of golden-hued amber plays along the powerful yet tender gaiac wood. Over time the perfume digs slightly deeper into the ground. Earthiness of patchouli and rooty aspect of vetiver make this perfume feel more substantial and connected to nature. Musky tones in the base make this oriental perfume fluffier and more dreamy. For me there’s nothing I don’t like about it.

In the world that is still highly affected by covid and when the perfume scene suffers greatly from the lack of exhibitions where new fragrances can get enough attention, I am glad I can still try something new. Although for me the number of scents I can try had also dropped significantly, I have to be thankful for those who still remember about me & offer to send a sample. Those packages brighten my days more than ever. Matieres Libres collection was developed by Maelstrom perfumers – Marie Schnirer composed Patchouli Figue and Rose Agathe, Patrice Revillard stands behind Datura Amaretti and Absinthe Gaiac. All fragrances are eau de parfum & are available in 100 ml bottles.

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Queenly Jewel, Jacques Fath L’Iris de Fath

Among hundrets or even thousands of ingredients used in perfumery each fragrance enthusiast probably has a list of their favourite ones. I love iris. It started to fascinate me at the very early days of my scented adventures but to be honest with you I have no rational explanation why iris or how this love started. It just did… and continues to these days. Despite being a difficult material to work with there are numerous iris perfume on the market. Some are better, some worse. I like many, some I don’t. One is even my nemesis. But among them there’s one that every iris lover should covet. A fragrance legend, a holy grail of all orris. Its name –  Iris Gris, by Jacques Fath.

Composed for house of Jacques Fath by perfumer Vincent Roubert, the perfume was  introduced to the market in 1947. Only 7 years later, in 1954, a year in which Mr. Fath died, the perfume stopped being made. Despite its short lifespan Iris Gris managed to carve its name on the pages of history of perfumery. It was the most expensive perfume in the world due to unprecedented amount of iris used in the formulation. Sadly its fate was to be gone forever. Over the years many tried to copy the masterpiece but nothing could rival the original. In 2018 Panouge, current owner of Jacques Fath label, announced the finale of their big project to bring back the glory days of Iris Gris.

iris-de-fath

The competition was an open brief, any perfumer who was up for a challenge could submit their vision of Iris Gris of modern day. Using their nose, intuition, Osmotheque reproduction and vintage bottles, perfumers tried to revive this gem. Finally in a blind smelling a panel of experts unanimously decided on the best interpretation. It was one by Patrice Revillard, who only just finished his perfumery training. Yohan Cervi assisted him on a creative direction part. That way L’Iris de Fath was born (reborn?) last year. The composition opens with a petitgrain note that except of being green also has something dusty and dusky to it. Imagine entering attic that was unused for years.

There’s something decadent or rustic about it. For a moment I could notice a hint of well-hidden bergamot and its sour scent but it disappeared in a blink of an eye, literally. After around 5 minutes L’Iris de Fath becomes more playful. When peach joins the composition it feels kind of fluffy. The fuzziness of the peach skin and the juicy aspect of said fruit nectar introduce more vibrancy and brightness to a rather dimmed beginning. But in following minutes peach starts to evolve into a creamy, relatively lactonic self. Along this fruity milkiness the initially undefined fatty element emerges. In my skin it’s intensely textured, kind of wrinkled, kind of grainy. Alluringly odd.

iris-fath

Fattiness eventually drops a disguise and reveals itself as a very buttery iris. The scent is rich, concentrated but at the same time it’s inoffensive. On the contrary, it spreads a very elegant aura, the scent associated with luxury and wealth. Without a doubt L’Iris de Fath gives off an old-fashioned vibe but for a perfume of this kind it’s a compliment. Peachy tones melt together with orris and fuzzy skin reminds me of suede. In fact the perfume also has a slightly sueded facet. It’s a soft and plushy one. Orris is hard to describe here as it has a certain softness but at the same time it’s more solid and viscous. I suppose the texture is like an actual butter. Solid but still soft.

Those creamy and rooty iris tones become lighter over time and at some points those irone molecules become fresher and more floral. When they do L’Iris de Fath changes the color from grayish to a dusty purple. Violet flower introduces a supple floral sensation that is accompannied by a crisp violet leaf. Both have some kind of freshness attached to them but the scent on my skin also makes me think of edible, candied violets. Slightly sugary but far from anything gourmand. As hours pass the scent becomes more mellow and smooth like a silk. Carnation adds a more defined flowery feel with its warm, gently fiery spiciness that reminds me of characteristic smell of clove.

fath-iris

Among official notes of Jacques Fath L’Iris de Fath there are also jasmine from Grasse and Turkish rose but both slipped my attention and after I was focused on the orris I observed carnation to be the next noticeable change. The luminosity of various facets becomes a bit darker due to presence of oakmoss which introduces a dry, slightly parched smell of lichen. Sandalwood together with bourbon vetiver create a substantive base that on one hand is creamy and polished and on the other hand it’s more rooty, aromatic and with uneven surface. Musky tones cement everything together with a slightly dirty, animalic and sensual fragrance. It’s subconsciously carnal & consciously attractive.

It takes a whole lot of courage and a pinch of craziness to try to revive a perfume that is this iconic. Of course there’s only one true Iris Gris but in my opinion Rania Naim as a creative director of Jacques Fath, together with Patrice Revillard and Yohan Cervi, they gave us a perfume worthy of being called its 21st century successor. L’Iris de Fath is a very luxurious and tenacious parfum, subtly elegant. Precious liquid is housed in a crystal-like bottle styled to look similar to original Iris Gris packaging. The flacon rests in a wooden coffret covered with grey leather. Due to extraordinarily high content of natural ingredients 30 ml of extrait is an expense of almost 1500 euro. With this price it’ll continue to funcion as a museal object for most of us but at least we know it exists.

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